In the US, there were roughly 280 million registered vehicles in 2021. This high level of ownership drives demand for repair and maintenance undertaken at auto shops. However, auto shop owners traditionally relied on paper and pen or traditional software to run their businesses. In 2016, software industry veteran Ashot Iskandarian founded Shopmonkey to bring a modern, SaaS-based approach to auto shop management. As Shopmonkey progressed from a startup to a leading auto shop management software provider, the business faced growing demand from clients for capital services to finance the development of new automobile service bays, premises, and other expansion initiatives.
The company also wanted to continue growing its vertical SaaS business through the addition of embedded finance options such as buy now, pay later. And to thrive in a highly competitive sector, Shopmonkey wanted to minimise any issues with payments or finance that could compromise the customer experience or challenge customer loyalty. “With Stripe, we provide SaaS-based financial services and APIs that enable auto shop owners to manage money in order to thrive in a turbulent economy,” says Crissy Watkins, director of payments at Shopmonkey.
Initially, Shopmonkey selected Stripe because of the ease of onboarding and features such as client billing and payment processing. Many processors require six months of integration, and onboarding each client can be cumbersome. To maximise its engineering resources, Shopmonkey needed a quick “plug and play” solution to reduce the pain points that came with onboarding new clients. Stripe solved all of these challenges for Shopmonkey.
Working with Stripe Professional Services, Shopmonkey integrated with Stripe over a four-month period. “We integrated with Stripe Standard Connect originally to give our clients an easy onboarding and well-integrated payments approach through our software,” says Travis Brown, chief operating officer at Shopmonkey. “As we grew, we wanted to expand and monetise the offering to our clients, with more control over pricing and payout timing aiding them in accelerated growth for their shops.”
As its clients’ needs evolved, Shopmonkey decided to begin offering Stripe-powered financial products under its own branding. “The Stripe team recommended Stripe Capital to us, and, because we could see how access to credit impacted clients’ businesses, we knew the product would be a success,” says Watkins.
Shopmonkey uses Stripe to offer access to working capital loans to their shop owners. Loan eligibility is based on factors like their payment volume and history on Stripe. Funds typically arrive the next business day, directly into their Stripe account, and loans are repaid automatically through a percentage of each Stripe transaction.
Stripe Capital’s no-code integration was so seamless that Shopmonkey simply had to switch the product on to get started. This meant the business was able to spend most of its time on marketing and educating customers. “We’ve had only positive feedback on the product since we adopted it in September 2022,” says Watkins.
The auto shop software provider has also deployed a range of Stripe products to provide a full portfolio of services to its clients, including:
- Stripe Payments, to easily accept payments at scale;
- Stripe Billing, to bill clients for their subscriptions;
- Stripe Invoicing, to issue invoices and reduce time spent tracking and collecting invoice payments;
- Stripe Radar, to detect and block fraud using machine learning, thereby reducing lost revenue;
- Stripe Sigma, to analyse Stripe data and determine business insights; and
- Stripe Terminal, to allow Shopmonkey clients to integrate Stripe payments into in-person checkout flows or build in-person payments into mobile or web applications.
Shopmonkey Capital, powered by Stripe Capital, has been what Watkins describes as “impactful” on Shopmonkey’s clients’ expansion. “We’ve seen clients use our capital product to open more locations and additional service bays. We’re now working on reporting with the Stripe Capital Dashboard to capture our clients’ growth,” she says. “For example, if we can see whether clients are taking out multiple loans through our embedded finance offering, we can determine how successful our product is and undertake fine-tuning as required.”
Success across key performance metrics
Shopmonkey has observed volume as the key performance indicator for its Stripe Capital-powered embedded finance product. Through Stripe Capital, the business has provided its customers with access to about 140 loans totalling in the millions.
Stripe Terminal has grown from 34% to about 40% of credit card processing in the last year. In particular, it has helped increase the attach rate for payments in Canada by 42%.
Overall, the Stripe product suite enables the business to exceed performance against other important performance indicators. For example, Shopmonkey is recording a 52% attach rate per client across clients with integrated payments. Watkins describes the figure as “exciting,” with the business receiving positive feedback from clients about providing a one-stop shop for support, financial risk management, and other activities, with all reporting based on data within Shopmonkey’s systems. “We are now delivering an embedded client experience to aid in improving the stickiness of our platform,” she says.
Shopmonkey’s other top three key performance indicator is volume per shop, and with Stripe, the business has recorded a 14% increase over time. “Once our clients adopt Shopmonkey Payments, we can track how volume grows. We attribute this growth to features like text to pay and email invoicing, allowing our clients to accept funds from anywhere,” says Watkins.
Increasing payments by 423% in two years
Overall, Stripe has helped Shopmonkey increase payments by 423% over the past two years. “We adopted Stripe as our payments processor in the early days of Shopmonkey, which ensured growth from the very beginning,” says Watkins. “In the past two years we have approached Shopmonkey payments from a slightly different angle. Since taking payments is a necessity of the day-to day-operations of our shops, we view it as an integral function of Shopmonkey. Taking this approach has led to tremendous growth in volume over the past two years.”
Watkins adds that Stripe embedded finance has helped show the team that our clients lean into the value that we deliver. “They are looking for growth, and they view Shopmonkey as a partner in that growth. When opportunities come up to expand we can continue to deliver ‘win, win’ outcomes for our business and our shops. We can help our shops to thrive and expand while we make the revenue necessary to grow,” she says.
Increasing efficiency and focus for the engineering team
The Stripe platform has also delivered extensive cost benefits and efficiencies to Shopmonkey. “With Stripe, our existing engineering team can cover payments as well as software,” says Watkins. Rather than spending time designing new payments infrastructure, Shopmonkey’s engineers can focus their time on software updates that benefit customers.
Reducing speed of execution by up to six months.
With Stripe delivering faster speed of execution, Shopmonkey is now agile and well-positioned to grow. Depending on the product, the business can execute between two and six months faster than with another processor. “What Stripe does best is allow businesses to grow by removing the need to dedicate scarce and valuable engineering resources to payments,” says Watkins.
Shopmonkey is now focusing on using Stripe to deliver options such as buy now, pay later – which will allow clients to capture more business from the 40% of people that walk out of an auto shop because they cannot afford the fix.
With Stripe, we can drive business into auto shops and act as a financial partner for our clients and their shops. In addition, working with a plug and play solution like Stripe requires minimal development and allows us to add real value to our clients.
Loans are issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah-Chartered Industrial Bank Member FDIC. All loans subject to credit approval.